Challenge and response
In this area of study students investigate how and why religious traditions as a whole, or their denominations, have taken steps from their inception to the present to respond to challenges in the categories of theology, ethics and continued existence.
Religious traditions or their denominations are in a continual process of engagement and negotiation with challenges that may influence them to adopt various stances for, against or of indifference. A stance is a principled perspective which may be expressed in various responses that support this stance, including the option not to respond in any practical or discernible ways. A stance can itself be enough to respond to the challenge and to retain integrity, authenticity and identity for the religious tradition’s or denomination’s leadership and adherents. With various stances there will be a mixture of supportive responses that attempt to bring about change or attempt to retain the status quo, though these may not always accomplish the desired results.
The impetus for religious traditions or denominations to take a stance can come from a variety of sources. The ability of a religious tradition or denomination to adopt different stances is variously determined by beliefs, authority structures, official teachings, rulings of religious law, tradition, key individuals and attitudes within the religious and wider communities.
Students consider how some aspects of religion are more likely to be involved when taking a stance, such as distinctive beliefs, rituals, religious practices, the interpretation of texts, the application of ethical principles, the nature and role of authority, and the manner of participation within the social structure of a religious tradition or denomination. Students study one or more than one religious tradition or denomination. They develop an overview of four significant challenges for each religious tradition or denomination studied, and the stances and supporting responses taken by the religious tradition/s or denomination/s. Each of the four challenges will encompass one or more than one of the categories of: theology, ethics or continued existence, but as a whole should cover all categories. [source]
To achieve this outcome the student will draw on key knowledge and key skills outlined in Area of Study 1.
U4 AOS1: Key knowledge
U4 AOS1: Key skills